HELP with Arenal/Montverde section of trip

May 31st, 2008, 05:11 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 18
HELP with Arenal/Montverde section of trip

Hello everybody,

I will be spending 10 days in Costa Rica at the end of January.
3-4 days in the Arenal/Montverde area, and the remainder of our time in Manuel Antonio beach(not worried about being bored)
Here is what I need help with.
How do I manage the Arenal/Montverde section.
is it better to stay the whole time in Arenal, and take a day trip to the cloud forest. or is that logistcally not a good idea.
or do we split our time between the 2. we will have a vehicle.
we are realitivly active. meaning like some adventure, but too intence, like some comforts also.

also, how do we than get on our way to Manuel Antonio?

And please help.
calger is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 06:15 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,991
Going to Monteverde on a day trip isn't really all that feasible; it's challenging to get there, and the roads are not in great shape. We did Arenal and Manuel Antonio for our first trip, which was 9 days, and gave up Monteverde because in such a short timeframe, we would have been spending way too much time on the road. Most people spend 3-4 days in Arenal; there is a lot to do in that area -
Cano Negro, natural hot springs, ziplines, Hanging Bridges. Personally, I'd give Monteverde a pass if you only plan on spending 3-4 days in the area.
volcanogirl is online now  
May 31st, 2008, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,541
Agree with vg, I would pick Arenal and not even attempt a Monteverde day trip - by the time you got there you'd pretty much have to turn around and head back!
tully is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 07:08 AM
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Would it be worth it if I were able to do a day or 2 on the way manuel antonio. or can i get a similar expierience in a more convienient way?
I'm not obesseing, just wondering.
Thank you for the help
calger is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 07:20 AM
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I guess I'm wondering if a passing up a truley unique, magnificent expierience that cant be seen anywhare.
or if there is a way to come close without making myself nuts.
calger is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I personally don't think Monteverde is worth the extreme hassle to get there! I still have nightmares about those roads sixteen years later (I hear they haven't improved). There are other cloud forest experiences you could try.
MonicaRichards is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 01:23 PM
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calger, what we came to realize is that we couldn't see everything we wanted to in one trip. Most everyone who goes to CR loves it so much that they go back again. Any chance you could do another trip next year?
volcanogirl is online now  
May 31st, 2008, 01:51 PM
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For our first trip 3 years ago we also had 10 days. We did 1 nt Orquideas Inn, 2 nts Arenal, 2 nts Monteverde & 4 nts Manuel Antonio. Even though we are a family of 6 I wouldn't have changed a thing. Our driving adventures seemed to be when we had the most fun. The road to Monteverde was by far the most hair raising experience ever! "Look mom no guardrails" quickly became the catch phrase. Even with the drive and though I'm a beach person I still loved Monteverde and feel it was definitely worth the trip. Will I go back??...maybe, not sure I could handle that road again. If you don't mind all the driving I wouldn't rule it out and if not I agree with VG about a return visit.
In the last 3 years I've been back 5 times and am in the process of planning our trip for next year. There's just too much that I still haven't seen.
petite43 is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 08:06 PM
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OK...i think i get the point.
not sure if i'll be back soon. after this, i think the next big trip will be egypt. that is if we dont wage war there. it stands now, we are begining our trip with 3 days in Arenal,and the last 5 in Manuel Antonio. that leaves us with one free day between the 2.
any ideas about what to do between arenal and manuel?
thank you all.
calger is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 07:33 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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Have you thought about the Peace Lodge? We stayed there for a night on our last trip and loved it. They have beautiful, over-the-top rooms, great views, jacuzzis, and 5 waterfalls on the property that you can hike to. It's about an hour from the SJO airport. You'd have to get there early in the day to fully enjoy the property; also Poas Volcano is nearby.
volcanogirl is online now  
Jun 1st, 2008, 08:19 AM
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Thank you so much Volcanogirl.
are either of these places between Arenal and Manuel Antonio?
I'm havnt even researched the route.
calger is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Hi Calger,

Yes, Peace Lodge and Poas Volcano are between Arenal and MA, although not on the most direct route. Peace Lodge would be a fun place to break up the trip if you didn't want to go straight between Arenal and MA. Be aware though, that it is a more expensive hotel, depending on what your budget is... It's also a small and very popular hotel so you'll want to book early as January is peak tourist season.

You could also consider adding that extra day to Arenal. There is a lot to see and do in that area.

Both options have merit.
cmerrell is offline  
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